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May 02 2011

(SPOILER) Preview for Spike #8. Brought to you by io9. This marks the end of the series, as well as the return of the palindrome (read: Urru).

Preview looks good.
I am so looking forward to the trade paper back of this! The previews have all been really interesting.
Minor quibble, but Spike isn't nearly old enough to have seen the Black Plague. Pretty sure he was born in the nineteenth century--and the Black Death was mid-fourteenth century--so, someone's off by about 500 years.
@erendis -- that's what I thought, but apparently it was in China and India per Wikipedia in the late 19th century. It killed 10 million....

From Wikipedia,

"The Third Pandemic (1855-1959) started in China in the middle of the 19th century, spreading plague to all inhabited continents and killing 10 million people in India alone.[81]"


So I learned something today....
Brian admitted the Black Plague thing was a flub on his part.

Shoot, I didn't mean black plague. Late night wriiiiiiiiting! Spike wasn't alive for the black plague. I stink I stink I stink. Last mistake I'll ever make on SPIKE, I swears.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2011-05-03 13:06 ]
Well there's my Euro-centric education rearing its ugly head again .... one of these days I'll read all of wikipedia and then I will know things about other parts of the world. Good researching, hann23: I know stuff now I didn't know when I woke up. Always a good thing.

Someone should point out the Black Plague thing to Brian. I mean, we already know Spike was in China for the Boxer Rebellion, so it's not much of a stretch to say he was also around for the Black Plague.
Welcome back Franco, you've been missed!
So is this still no soul Spike, acting exactly the same? Weird. That just does not work for me at all
No, I believe his soul is now back.
I'm gonna write a longer entry on BCR in a few days, when I've digested it all. But here's my gut reaction... wow. It's a totally different feel than the first seven issues, but it really works. Spike's interactions with the bugs are great, and this issue adds an odd amount of emotional resonance to what originally felt like a silly idea in the Season Eight comics. But the heart of the issue is Spike's interaction with his team. Brian has developed these characters to the point where they're every bit as essential to the overall Buffyverse story as any of the BtVS or AtS characters. In fact, now I'm kinda mad I didn't try to steal any of them for my Yearbook story. But yeah, Brian completely and utterly nailed this issue and gave Spike (the series and the character) an amazing send off.

PS: I got the hardcover of the first collection. It's downright beautiful. The cover is the Spike/Dru cover by Jenny, not the Jenny cover from #1 that appears on Amazon. It looks so damn good. There was a great cover gallery, but no other extras. I hope the next one is decked out with a bit more, as it's the last big Lynch collection. Anyway, the issues also read better when you read them in one sitting. Good beginning to what became a phenomenal series.
the return of the palindrome

I kinda feel the opposite of patxshand.

The first seven issues were all right, especially with Willow. But the way Lynch writes the bugs very much doesn't match up with how they're portrayed in Buffy season 8. I have no idea why these bugs are cursing so much, or how they even know what a "newbie" is. I can't help but feel Lynch goes for more comedy than for drama, or for plotlines that make sense -- which is strange coming from me, since I loved After the Fall, and that ended up coming full circle really nicely.

I was also expecting some more exposition. Lilah says "something is coming" and shows the bug ship...but then it turns out W&H summoned it? Or is Lilah referring to Twilight, and that's why the Senior Partners want the ship?

The issue felt jumpy, and I wasn't sure what was going on at first.

Of course Lynch feels the need to not only throw in a Firefly reference, but also more references to his past works that may or may not be canonical as of right now. I don't think there's anything wrong with this, but when all I see is that and not enough story or just falls apart in my eyes.

Looking back, the entire mini-series feels disconnected and sort of pointless. It's all about Spike wanting to do his own thing and not play second fiddle, and he harps about this constantly. Things got interesting when Drusilla showed up, but John was completely random and was more annoying than threatening. Willow entered the scene and made things fantastic, and then Spike lost his soul...only to show us that he's exactly the same without it. So they gave his soul to Dru temporarily -- wait, how the hell does that work? It's Spike's soul, not hers. Eh, I'm not gonna try to make sense of it. With Dru getting souled, that makes every member of The Whirlwind a vampire with a soul (Angel, Spike, Drusilla with Spike's, and Darla when she shared Connor's soul within her). That was a cool concept that I wish they could've played up a bit, especially when I first saw the cover art featuring the four of them. The only problem was, I didn't like Dru with a soul. All she did was complain and demand it to be taken out, and before you can turn the page, Spike's got his soul back. Cue Lilah (YESSS) and the bug ship (YESSSSSSSS) but then you get the mess that's issue a Senior Partner a face and body was a mistake in my eyes. I think this may have happened once in Angel, unless that was just a representative of the Senior Partners. Either way, it didn't sit well with me.

Beck bored me. I liked her a lot more in Asylum. She started getting annoying in Lynch's Smile Time comic sequel (Shadow Puppets? Can't remember...) and she's really one-note here. Lynch seems unable to be consistent with his characters. Last I saw Beck in the puppet comic, she was trying to emulate Spike and was using British slang. Where did that go? Jeremy was completely pointless. I've actually always felt that way about him. I love George, but he was terribly under-used here. This fish has INTENSE psychic powers. Like the best of the best. And he does...very little in these issues.

I was hoping for more of a connection with Buffy season 8, especially with Willow...but hey, no biggie.

Basically, I think we can all agree that Lynch has a very particular style of writing. When he's at his best, I really enjoy his work. But I feel like it's easy for him to get caught up in his own characters, and in his own style of poking fun at fandoms and generally being very meta (I despised the Last Angel in Hell issues, for example). It's not really the way I prefer my Buffyverse.

Loved the art. Urru is fantastic.

I think the story is all right, and I'll have to read it again in one sitting sometime in the future...but for now, overall I just wasn't too impressed. I guess I'm just not much for Lynch's take on the Buffyverse anymore. It's a matter of personal taste is all.

[ edited by Waterkeeper511 on 2011-05-05 01:59 ]

[ edited by Waterkeeper511 on 2011-05-05 02:00 ]

[ edited by Waterkeeper511 on 2011-05-05 02:01 ]
Waterkeeper511: The cursing bug comes right out of Season Eight, so I don't really understand why that would be a reason you felt the bugs were portrayed differently.

A quote from Brian at the IDW boards: "Oh, and a quick shout-out to Scott Allie, who created the cursing/easily annoyed bug. He sent me the pages said bug appeared in BUFFY, and asked if I thought I could do anything with him, it led to the bug getting a pretty big part in the final issue. Hope you guys liked him!"
Wow, I totally don't even remember that in season 8.

I just checked my Last Gleaming issues and found the cursing one panel. Right before he got killed. No wonder I didn't remember.

I guess keeping that in mind, my problem now becomes: the bug in season 8 cursed in one panel, as far as I could tell. The bugs in Spike's mini-series were cursing all over the place, and I didn't think it was just one bug...then again, I couldn't really tell.

I think there's a difference between what the bug says in season 8 and him saying "Do you not hear my king, fuckers??" right away in Spike #8. I mean, what the hell? Or, on the very next page, "Sire, one of the #%&s attacks!" Really? That's just...unnecessary. And a bit hard for me to swallow. And, like I said, different from the one incident in season 8. One way to put it is: for some reason, I was so fine with it in season 8, because it was one line and didn't seem like a big deal. But this bug is cursing in almost all of his lines in Spike #8. That's silly to me.

I dunno, I don't mind cursing at all, it just seems like a strange thing to see for me. I guess I was able to handle it fine in season 8 because it was one panel, and I assumed the bug had picked it up from Spike. But if Scott Allie asked Lynch to particularly do something with him, then I guess I blame both of them. It just seems like a really silly thing to focus on when more time should've been spent, I dunno, explaining the bugs...

I'm not trying to find things I disliked about issue #8. I just can't seem to let go of the swearing bug. It just seems so ridiculous to me. I guess it's because while I can accept various alternate dimensional beings and magickal creatures being able to speak English, I feel that swearing like that is so...."human," in a way. I don't know why. Because it's base and low. The bugs that I saw in season 8 were totally subservient to Spike, so when I learned we would get to see them before Spike became their king, I was hoping they'd have a culture of their own, or something like that.

But for me, it's the fact that this bug swears in like every sentence, and he had so many lines...

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